Sunday, 7 December 2008

Would Canada be safer in republican hands?
You know, sometimes, the republicans' logic is beyond me. In Canada, people are upset by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s refusal to face a vote of no confidence. A fellow blogger wrote: "We have a non-elected official protecting a Prime Minister from facing a confidence motion. It amounts to the Queen interfering with the legislative process in this country.
"Unelected officials should have no say in how parliament does its job."

Would it be better had an elected official barred the Canadian parliament from sitting and voting out the present prime minister?

The Queen of Canada - and so Her representative in Canada, the Governor General - acts on the advice of the prime minister. That's how it works in a Constitutional Monarchy. And usually that is working quite well. The present situation in Canada is different. When the Governor General decided on 4th December to suspend parliamentary sessions, she acted on the advice of the prime minister, however, it is doubtful that he still has a majority in the parliament. The Governor General could have asked him to show that he still has the support of the elected members of parliament before she acted on the advice he gave.

That would have been the proper way. But Mr. Harper knew that he does no longer enjoy the support of the majority and therefore he avoided the vote of confidence. Instead he clings to power by all means, even by not very proper ones. Just imagine for a moment, the Governor General had refused the prime minister's advice. The concerned half of the country would cried foul: "An unelected Governor General interfered with the legislative process in this country!" The Governor General could have sacked the prime minister and asked the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition to form a new government. That's what happened in Australia in November 1975. May be Ms. Jean did not want to become Canada's Sir John Kerr and she left the sitting government in charge.

In the photo on the right hand side the Governor General is sitting in the Canadian Parliament. Mr. Harper can be seen on the left.

The Governor General did nothing wrong, it was Mr. Harper who asked for the wrong action.

What happens, when a Monarch (or the Governor General) acts against the wish of a prime minister can been seen in Luxembourg, where Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker announced five days ago, that the Grand Duke of Luxembourg should be stripped of his right to sign and en-act laws. Luxembourg has a conservative prime minister just like the Dominion of Canada. What's wrong with today's conservatives that they want to get rid of good old practices that keep the balance of power? How power hungry must they all be?

The question is: Would they be less power hungry, would they have to deal with a president? And why should a democracy where politicians grabbed 100 percent of the official posts be safer than a Monarchy, where the Queen, King or Grand Duke remind them that there is more than their own little or great self that rules in the country?

Nobody has ever accused the Queen of obstructing democracy. Replacing Her with someone, who would certainly not have the same dedication as she has can make things only worse.


Atreides said...

If Canada turned into republic, it will be the loss of national identity and its incorporation into the USA, that's just what the Bilderberg Club wants to get. Canada's national identity depends on Monarchy. Monarchy must be preserved for the future to avoid the desaster.

Nuno Castelo-Branco said...

Exactly, we have the same experience here in Portugal, where the president his a dayly intruder in the cabinet business.